NEWSWHAT IS CALCIUM CARBONATE OR CACO3?« Back to articles
There are three natural forms of CaCo3, namely Limestone, Marble and Chalk. Whilst their chemistry is identical, they differ in terms of purity, thickness, whiteness and homogeneity.
Calcium carbonate is one of the most useful and versatile materials known to man. The simplest way one can describe it is as a white powder which has been milled and crushed from rock. It was produced by the sedimentation of shells of small fossilized snails, shellfish, and coral over millions of years.
As interesting as calcium carbonate may be in nature, its impact and value to our everyday life are truly extraordinary.
Many of us have already encountered calcium carbonate when brushing our teeth every day or eating a slice of bread, or even at school in the classroom when chalk has been used to write on a blackboard.
Calcium carbonate is extremely versatile and as such, has many other applications such as:
Paper, Plastics, Paints, and Coatings:
Our Calcote and Calbrite range is most widely used in the paper, plastics, paints and coatings industries, specifically as a filler and as a coating pigment (due to its special white colour). In the paper industry it is valued worldwide for its high brightness and light scattering characteristics and is used as an inexpensive filler to make bright opaque paper. Filler is used at the wet-end of paper making machines and a calcium carbonate filler allows for the paper to be bright and smooth. As an extender, calcium carbonate can represent as much as 30% in the weight of paints. Calcium carbonate is also widely used as a filler in adhesives and sealants.
Personal Health and Food Production:
Our Calbrite, Optical and Optidol range is used as an effective dietary calcium supplement, antacid, phosphate binder, or base material for medicinal tablets. It is also found on many grocery store shelves in products such as baking powder, toothpaste, dry-mix dessert mixes, dough and wine. Calcium carbonate is the active ingredient in agricultural lime and is used in animal feed. Our Dolime is a mixture of calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Building Materials and Construction:
Calcium carbonate is critical to the construction industry, both as a building material (e.g. marble) and as an ingredient of cement. It contributes to the making of mortar which is used in bonding bricks, concrete blocks, stones, roofing shingles, rubber compounds and tiles.
When burned above 825 degrees Celsius, calcium carbonate becomes calcium oxide (quicklime/unslaked lime) and when mixed with water it becomes calcium hydroxide (hydrated lime/slacked lime). Calcium carbonate is an important material in making steel, glass, and paper. Because of its antacid properties, calcium carbonate is used in industrial settings to neutralise acidic conditions in both soil and water.